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Rogue Royale: The Lost Bond Film by the 'Shakespeare of Hollywood' (Kindle Single) [Kindle Edition]

Jeremy Duns
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In the mid-Sixties, the James Bond films became a global phenomenon as the world thrilled to their spectacular action sequences and cool gadgets. But the films nearly went in a very different direction, with a much darker treatment of Ian Fleming’s first novel by Hollywood’s most acclaimed screenwriter. In this short ebook, journalist and spy novelist Jeremy Duns unearths Ben Hecht’s drafts of Casino Royale. Rogue Royale is around 11,000 words long, and builds on his ground-breaking 3,400-word article published in The Sunday Telegraph in 2011.

Praise for Jeremy Duns:

'A wholly engrossing and sophisticated spy novel set against a forgotten corner of 20th century history. Fascinating and compelling' – William Boyd on Free Agent
'A taut and tortured exploration of betrayal on the national, ideological and personal levels simultaneously… A cleverly twisted tale of intrigue and deception, this is a masterly excursion back to the bad old days of the Cold War' – The Times on Song of Treason
'The immediacy of Duns’ writing grabs and suspends the reader in a beautifully realized heartbeat of recent history' – Kirkus Reviews on The Dark Chronicles
'This excellent book contains lessons that are still valid in the 21st century' – Oleg Gordievsky on Dead Drop
'Fantastic research and digging... a great read' – Gordon Corera on Dead Drop
'The career of Oleg Penkovsky reads like a story by John le Carré… Duns’ denouement is both startling and convincing – a fitting climax to this irresistible real-life thriller' – Francis Wheen, Mail on Sunday


Product Description

About the Author

Jeremy Duns is the author of Dead Drop: The True Story of Oleg Penkovsky and the Cold War's Most Dangerous Operation, published by Simon & Schuster UK, and Free Agent, Song Of Treason (originally titled Free Country) and The Moscow Option, published by Simon & Schuster in the UK and Penguin in the US. His journalism has been published by The Sunday Times, The Sunday Telegraph, The Guardian, Time Out and elsewhere. Free Agent was one of the Daily Telegraph’s ‘Thrillers of the year’ in 2009, and was praised by William Boyd as ‘a wholly engrossing and sophisticated spy novel set against a forgotten corner of 20th century history’. The Times called Song Of Treason ‘a masterly excursion back to the bad old days of the Cold War’, while The Guardian said it was ‘a treat for fans of traditional Len Deighton-style spy thrillers’. Oleg Gordievsky called Dead Drop an ‘excellent book’ that ‘contains lessons that are still valid in the 21st century’ and Francis Wheen called it an ‘irresistible real-life thriller’.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1159 KB
  • Print Length: 81 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1503262472
  • Publisher: Skerry (24 Jan. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00F0LCJY4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #164,722 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Jeremy Duns is the author of the Paul Dark spy novels, published by Simon & Schuster. His first novel, Free Agent, was one of the Daily Telegraph's 'Thrillers of the year' in 2009, and received praise from William Boyd, Eric Van Lustbader and David Morrell, while The Guardian wrote: 'Deep knowledge of espionage and classic spy novels informs this excellent debut'. The Times called the second book in the series, Song of Treason (originally published as Free Country), 'a masterly excursion back to the bad old days of the Cold War', while The Guardian said it was 'a treat for fans of traditional Len Deighton-style spy thrillers'. The third Dark novel, The Moscow Option, was published in 2012, and was followed by Dead Drop (titled Codename: Hero in the US), a non-fiction investigation of the MI6-CIA operation to run Colonel Oleg Penkovsky. Jeremy lives in the Åland Islands.

Find out more at http://www.jeremy-duns.com

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting tale 15 Nov. 2013
By Marj
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Jeremy writes eloquently on the tale of the missing film. Where he is able to, he pieces the parts of the script that are around. What a shame the full script is not available: it would make an interesting film.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating sideways look at the Bond franchise 21 Oct. 2013
By R. Wood
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Find has brought off a fine piece of original research. Evidently a fan, he is able to fix Hecht's work in the context of the developing Bond series. Impressive.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An illuminating look at what could have been 7 Oct. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a great essay on the 'Casino Royale' that never was - with script extracts, a look at the various drafts and a history of its failed development. Well worth a read.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars book 1 Oct. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Interesting view into what might have been
The root of the multiple bonds in the first film version is now clear
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating story of Ben Hecht, whose adaptation of Casino Royale was 50 years ahead of its time. 30 Jan. 2014
By BruceD - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Hecht's version of Casino Royale was influenced by the style & tone of the first Bond film and followed the book very closely. Better that the TV version starring Barry Nelson and very close to Daniel Craig's version. Yet producer Charles Feldman dumped this serious scrip for a farcical spoof.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hecht, Ben Hecht 6 Dec. 2013
By David L. Vineyard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I knew nothing of the Ben Hecht Bond script, and this article is a fine description of it and the attempt to film CASINO ROYALE the first time. It is well written, obviously well researched, and the work of someone who appreciates Fleming, Bond, and the phenomena that arose around them. Every Bond lover should read this one.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read 7 Feb. 2014
By E. M. Wolf - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you're a bond fan this is for you. The 60's were a heady time for bond on screen and this provides insight into what could have been. The Hecht dialogue sparkles and the research is impeccable.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest James Bond Film Never Made 14 Nov. 2013
By IA - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
This ebook (disclaimer: the author sent me an earlier copy for review) discusses the most exciting Bond-related discovery in decades--the scripts Ben Hecht wrote for "Casino Royale." Many are familiar with the disastrous comedic film released in 1967, but few know the project was initially planned as a serious adaptation of Ian Fleming's first James Bond novel. In 1964 producer Charlie Feldman recruited Ben Hecht, the greatest screenwriter of Hollywood's Golden Age, to adapt the book. It was the last project Hecht worked on, and after his death the various drafts were filed away and forgotten--until now.

The excellent spy novelist Jeremy Duns ("Free Agent") has journeyed to Chicago's Newberry Library and examined Hecht's papers, and the result is this fascinating study. Any lost Bond script is news, but a script by Hecht is big news ("In my opinion, Ben Hecht was a genius. He invented 80 percent of what is used in Hollywood movies today," said Jean-Luc Godard). Duns ably guides the reader through the genesis of the project, starting with Ian Fleming's attempts to immortalize his creation on film, and provides superbly-chosen excerpts from various scripts. Duns shows that Hecht was the ideal writer for this project--he possessed the sophistication and wit required for Bond, and his drafts sound uncannily like the classic Connery Bonds. ("Here," says Bond as he gives a cigarette to a femme fatale, "Don't set the bed on fire." "I do not need a cigarette for that" she replies.)

Hecht invents a first act (involving a brothel chain and extortion ring) that dovetails beautifully with the main story, and the rest of his adaptation is surprisingly faithful to Fleming. The novel featured three great set-pieces: Bond's baccarat duel with LeChiffre, his excruciating torture scene, and the end of Bond's relationship with Vesper. Hecht preserves all three, and judging from these excerpts he handled them better than the Daniel Craig version of "Casino Royale." The result is an excellent adaptation that translates the novel's set-pieces into cinematic visuals and crackling dialogue. As Duns notes, Hecht's drafts echo his work on Hitchcock's "Notorious" and also look forward to emotional range of the greatest Bond film, "On Her Majesty's Secret Service."

If Hecht's script had been filmed it would have been the darkest, most adult James Bond film of its era, complete with brothel scenes in Hamburg's red-light district, bi-sexual double-agents, and a hideously disfigured torturer. But after Feldman was unable to interest Sean Connery or the Bond producers in the project, he discarded Hecht's work--an agonizing missed opportunity. As Duns writes, Hecht's drafts are "a master-class in thriller-writing." One regrets the makers of the Craig film were unaware of them.

After reading this excellent ebook, I hope Hecht's adaptation will be published, with Duns's essay as an introduction. If you are even slightly interested in James Bond and Ian Fleming, read "Rogue Royale." What Jeremy Duns has brought to light is surely the greatest James Bond film never made.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Casino Royale Backstory 30 Dec. 2014
By B. G. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
For fans of the 2006 version of Casino Royale and the book this story offers a glimpse at the long road that led to the spoof in 1967. I am no fan of the spoof but it is interesting to see how Casino Royale could have been told seriously in the 60s either as part of the series or alongside it. In the end Casino Royale 2006 is a nearly perfect film and reboot that has been a great launching pad for the Daniel Craig series so I think if the 1967 film was the price for it, then it was worth the 2.5hours I spent bored by it just because it was a Bond film.
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